Friday, September 14, 2018

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Headlines from August 2018 on the beer beat ... at Pints & Union.

This blog has gone on hiatus, probably permanently. These days my thoughts about beer are being posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential.

You'll still find them there in reverse chronological order via the helpful all-purpose tag, Beer with a Socialist, with The Beer Beat having been retired as of September. That's because some also will be identified as Pints & Union Portfolio.

At any rate, use the Beer with a Socialist search term and it should suffice. At the end of each month, I'll still collect the links right here.

Following are August (2018) ruminations, with the oldest listed first. Some of these posts are more topical than others.

I hope this isn't overly confusing. Thanks for reading, if belatedly.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Pints&union begins regular hours tonight, and there's a "luxuriant brunette brew" to help celebrate.

As for the beer, eight of ten potential faucets will be pouring. It isn't yet clear whether the permanent number of taps will be seven or eight, but for now I've squeezed in a special treat for those of you who enjoy classic styles: Daredevil Munich Dunkel from Indianapolis.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Drink a toast to trailblazing New Albany brewer Hew Ainslie with a McEwan's Scotch Ale.

I believe Ainslie deserves some manner of recognition. After all, too many plaques are mounted in honor of underachieving politicians, and too few to men like Ainslie. In addition to brewing, he was a published poet and an ardent Scottish nationalist.

I'm telling you abut Ainslie because a spoonful of McEwan's Scotch Ale helps the history lesson go down.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: And the honor goes to Fuller's London Pride.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018 the first keg to be emptied at Pints&union was Fuller's London Pride, with Guinness queuing close behind it.

This pleases me for a number of reasons.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: An accumulated thirst -- or, lots of kegs floated at Pints&union.

After four "official" business days preceded by two "soft" evenings, something like 800 pints of draft beer have been consumed at Pints&union, including two full kegs of Fuller's London Pride -- and only one of the other blown kegs was an IPA (Bell's Two Hearted).


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: "When you think of your favorite spot to grab a beer, what architectural features come to mind?"

To me, the essential ingredient for bucket-list bars is that they're located somewhere else, preferably in Europe, and have good adult beverages to drink -- namely, beer. As such, I've actually been to the Hofbrauhaus and Hirschgarten for lagers, and once walked past the American Bar in Vienna.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: No absinthe-barrel-aged IPAs, please. Imperial Stout? Let me think about that one.

Too late.

Someone in the Netherlands already went and did absinthe beer, not barrel-aged (some things should remain far removed from scheming human hands), but with barley, wheat and an herbal extract.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: "In short, hemp and hops can only work together if state and federal regulators get out of the way."

This is an excellent essay about innovation, regulation and weirdness. Thanks to E for the link.

As for me, a pint of Fuller's London Pride will do just fine, but by all means, get out there and expand the perimeter.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: In consideration of Falls City Classic Pilsner, on tap now at Pints&union.

It's always best to start at the beginning, and so it might help to know that the term "Falls City" predates those beers bearing its name, as Thomas Jefferson himself explains.


PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Beer Tuesday Talk & Taste, and Tabletop Tuesday; beer and board gaming starting Tuesday, August 14.

As often as humanly possible, I'll be upstairs at between 5:00 p.m. and at least 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday, August 14.

This weekly event is strictly informal, and you need not be present at any precise time, just at any point within the window. It's not exactly a class, and there'll be no tests. However, there'll be a beer of the week; purchase one downstairs, bring the beer upstairs, and we'll talk it over.


PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Orval exemplifies true religion, Trappist (ale)-style.

Narrowing the focus, a particularly wonderful sub-culture within Belgian brewing is that occupied by the Trappists, or those ales brewed at Trappist monasteries. In recent years, this practice has spread outside the original six Belgium (and the seventh in the Netherlands) to Austria, Italy, the UK and even Massachusetts.

These thoughts are occasioned by a chance meeting with this article about Orval.


PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Anyone up for Tuesday evening beer classes at the pub?

When the IU Southeast opportunity came to an end, I continued with the NABC program of charitable tasting donations, which was a light variant of the class, but the class itself never was revived.

At Pints&union, there's a second chance, and we're working on it. The class would take place on Tuesday evenings within a specified period of time -- say, an hour or so each night for six weeks. We'd meet upstairs in the room that still needs to be named.

You'd pay a minimal fee each night to cover class samples, and while attendance wouldn't be mandatory, maybe those who made every session would get recognition on the wall, or some such way of reflecting "graduation."


PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Revised weekend hours, with a noon opening on Saturday and hangover relief on Sunday from noon - 4 p.m.

For those who have enjoyed the exemplary draft Daredevil Munich Dunkel Lager, the third of our allocated three kegs was tapped earlier this week. When it's gone, probably early next week, it will be time for Oktoberfest season to begin.

The final decision has yet to be made, but I'm leaning toward a traditional Munich interpretation. Also, Wychwood Hobgoblin continues to stand in for Fuller's London Pride, and probably will remain pouring through September.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: There's a place for retro beers, but for better or worse, they don't taste the same as they once did.

Following is my answer, right or wrong, without having done the slightest research on the matter.

To me, it's just common beer sense that many, if not all, of the contemporary "retro" beer brands have little in common with their foundational predecessors.


BEER WITH A SOCIALIST Exploding beer cans? If I want to risk injury, I'll try to make it across a New Albany street on foot.

I'd dropped by The Keg to purchase a few German-brewed Oktoberfest bottles for a vital personal sampling, and was told a case of 450 North had just detonated in the storeroom.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, allow me to paraphrase an old saw: I may be entirely befuddled by what you're brewing, but I'll fight to the point of unconsciousness in support of your right to brew it.

At the same time, count me among those who can't come to grips with the notion of craft beer as potential can bombs.


PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: About a burger, and draft list notes.